Drug charges tossed against man following unlawful stop
Jul. 15, 2017
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Evidence obtained from an illegal police stop of a man as he rode his bike in Lincoln cannot be used against him at trial, a judge has ruled, but he may still be tried on a resisting arrest charge.
Charles Sales Jr., 53, had been facing three felonies on allegations he had methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possessed money while violating drug laws and resisted arrest with a prior offense, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/2tV6ypY ) Saturday.
But a Lancaster County District judge recently tossed out the drug charges because a Lincoln police officer stopped Sales last August for riding his bike in a crosswalk. The officer said he believed that broke city law, but there is no law banning bikes in crosswalks.
During the stop, the officer said he found a bag of meth in Sales' sweatshirt pocket. Because the stop was unlawful, the meth can't be admitted into evidence. Prosecutors agreed the stop was unlawful, but argued the resisting arrest charge should stand.
A defense attorney for Sales argued the resisting arrest charge should also be dropped because it was a product of an unlawful stop.
District Judge Jodi Nelson agreed with prosecutors, saying Nebraska law is clear that a person may not resist arrest, "whether the arrest itself is legal or not."
Under the defense's theory, Nelson said, if a defendant shot and killed an officer during an illegal search, that person couldn't be prosecuted.
Sales has pleaded not guilty. His case is set to go to trial in August.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com